Do digital nomads need a visa for Colombia?
The new Colombian visa regulations (Resolución 5477 de 2022 del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia) provide significant facilitations for foreigners who wish to work online or via the Internet from Colombia.
Under the previous visa rules, a visa was required for any commercial activity from Colombia, whether the activity was physically performed on-site or online, and whether the clients or customers were located in Colombia or abroad. Staying in Colombia without a visa, i.e. only with an entry stamp in the passport, was only allowed for tourist activities.
The new regulations now deviate from this principle (Art. 47 Parágrafo of Resolución 5477). Accordingly, so-called "digital nomads" and "remote workers" can enter Colombia without a visa and carry out their activities from Colombia, provided they do not stay in Colombia for more than 90 days (extendable to 180 days) per calendar year. In any case, this applies to all nationals of the countries listed in Resolución 5488 de 2022 del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Colombia, i.e. USA, Canada, all EU countries, Switzerland, among others. The only restriction is that no work may be performed for clients or customers that are domiciled in Colombia.
The "real" digital nomads, who change countries at intervals of several months, thus generally no longer need a visa for Colombia.
In addition, with the "Visa for Digital Nomads", Colombia now also offers the possibility to stay in Colombia for up to two years at a stretch under the above-mentioned conditions (activity exclusively online for customers or clients abroad - no activities for customers or clients in Colombia) (Art. 47 of Resolución 5477).
The term "visa for digital nomads" is misleading, as digital nomads generally do not need a visa, if "nomad" is understood to mean someone who only stays in Colombia for a maximum of six months at a time in a calendar year. Thus, the "digital nomad visa" is more of a visa for foreigners who want to stay in Colombia for the long term, i.e., more than six months at a time.
The requirements of the "Visa for Digital Nomads" are not very strict compared to other visa types, at least on paper. Regular income from online work equivalent to at least three Colombian monthly minimum wages must be proven (i.e. currently a total of at least COP $3,000,000 - as of 2022) - a very generous threshold by international standards. Both freelancers and employees permanently employed abroad can apply for the digital nomad visa.